How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing Into a Swimwear Empire

Mia Maguire
How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing Into a Swimwear Empire
Photo: Bianca Elouise.

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Australian designer and former professional surfer Bianca Elouise founded Myra Swim back in 2013, and the luxe swimwear label has already amassed a major celebrity fan base. Emily Ratajkowski, Kim and Kourney Kardashian and J.Lo are just a few of the noteworthy A-listers that have been spotted wearing her minimalist (and cheeky) designs. Elouise launched Myra Swim as a way to marry her love of high end fashion, the ocean and her overarching commitment to fostering a body-positivity, and to help women of all shapes and sizes feel more confident wearing swimsuits. Her ultra-flattering, ’90s-inspired Brazilian styles emphasize well, the booty, and feature ultra high Baywatch-worthy cuts to flatter the figure and highlight the curves.

Aside from their super comfortable, second-skin-like seamless finishes, her pieces also happen to be super wearable too. Yes, this means that you can actually hop in the ocean or pool without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction post-dip. In fact, the designer swears you can even go surfing in them. I mean, if you’re a loyal Brazilian-only girl like myself, you know finding that a skimpy bikini the won’t leave you flashing the entire beach as you emerge from the shore is a seriously rare find.

At just 28, Elouise’s ever-growing swimwear empire (and entire journey, for that matter) is downright inspiring. The label is now available at luxe retailers like Net-a-Porter, SSENSE and Olive LA, and the brand recently launched a collab with KITH for their summer 2019 capsule collection. I got a chance to sit down with the designer to talk about how she’s attained such an impressive career path at a young age and more about the brand.

What lead you to create Myra swim?

I grew up in the ocean. In my teens I spent most my time traveling and competing in surfing (long boarding). I lived in swimwear and wetsuits all year round. I did homeschooling so I could spend more time in the water. Aside from that, I always loved to sew and make my own clothes so in my early 20’s I slowly blended my two passions together, which lead me to [launch] Myra swim.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your swimwear designs and overall aesthetic?

’80s and ’90s swim fashion is where I’ve always drawn my original inspo from, [and] I have continued from there. The pieces in my first collection — which launched in early 2014 — were actually named after ’90s super models. I love the way high cut swim suits compliment a woman’s figure. The aesthetic of my brand is very minimalist, which is my personal taste. I like to focus on the product, the overall quality, material and the fit, which I find most important whilst shopping for myself.

What is your personal favorite piece from your line?

That’s a hard question, and people ask me this all the time. At the moment its the KAHLO bottoms. It’s a classic high waisted bottom with a daring thong back — it’s not hiding much at all. They are my go to bottoms! I mix and match all the tops in my collection depending on my mood or activity for the day.

What type of swimwear do you find most universally flattering?

A high rise bottom. I have several different cuts in high rise bottoms with various levels of bottom coverage, but I find most women want to hide their lower belly and highlight their waist for more of an hour glass look. I find that no matter what shape or size a classic high waisted bottom will suit every woman.

What celebrities would you love to see wearing your pieces?

I had my Idol JLO in my pieces a few times now over the past year, which was my goal. She seems to love my garments, which is overwhelming! As all women would say, Beyonce is who I’d love to see in my garments. A few others on my list are Rhianna, Serena Williams, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston — all the classics I grew up watching and loving!

What are your beach bag essentials?

A good face and body SPF. I’m super pale and need protection so this is a must! I also love a  thick oversized beach towel, cool shades and lots of snacks!

What role has Instagram and social media in general played in launching your brand?

Instagram and social media is a huge part of any fashion company in this day and age, and I think anyone would be lying if they didn’t agree. Though, in saying this, I don’t focus myself on the interaction. I’ve wanted to create a brand that is strong with or without [a social media presence]. A brand that is a go-to even when IG isn’t accessible. I think basing yourself too much on one platform limits you. Social media over the years tends to evolve and change, and you want your company to do so also. But, the platform is amazing in terms of being discovered by new customers and being able to reach out to people in general! IG wasn’t huge when I launched back in 2014 — my company grew on IG as people used it more but when I launched it didn’t play a huge role as the app was new then.

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

The stappy one piece of my dreams.

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

You can wear this one up to 8 different ways.

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

I might be biased here since these are called the “Mia,” but they’re super flattering regardless of your name. I promise.

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

This one’s EmRata-approved.

 

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

The ultimate Brazilian bottom.

How This Aussie Turned a Career in Surfing to a Swimwear Empire | STYLECASTER

Bianca’s personal favorite just so happens to be my favorite too.

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